We spend the majority of each day indoors, yet we know how good we feel when we spend time in nature. Why not find ways to bring the outdoors inside to help us feel rejuvenated and energized? Here are seven ways to bring the outdoors into your home.
1. Use natural colors. Using colors that are naturally occurring is one of the simplest ways of bringing the outside in. Natural colors can be used on walls, for accessories, textiles or even to influence your choice of flooring. Don’t just limit yourself to grass green though, think of the rich palette of an ocean reef, or in the woods on a fall afternoon, or even on a crisp winter morning.
2. Use natural materials. Rather than synthetic fibers or manufactured goods, choose natural materials like wood, cork, stone, wool, or grasscloth. These can be used for your furniture, flooring, and decorative elements.
3. Let the light shine in. Natural light has many beneficial effects and it’s free! Wash your windows, replace heavy draperies with lighter window coverings that can be completely opened and move large furniture that might be blocking your windows. If it’s time for replacement windows, call in the experts and if you can, consider putting in larger windows than what you already have or change their position to make the most of your view on the outside world. Also, choose windows with the least obstructions and better quality screens that are easier to see through.
4. Take care of your outdoor landscaping. Ensure that your yard is well maintained so that your view of the outdoors is clean, unobstructed and beautiful. Placing a bird feeder, bird house or water fountain in the yard will also attract birds and other wildlife to your garden and you’ll be able to enjoy their sights and sounds from the comfort of your home.
5. Let the fresh air in. Fresh air can do us a world of good after being cooped up inside for too long. If you can’t get out, open your windows and let in the breeze. Plant your favorite flowering shrub such as lilac or mockorange near your screen door or fill a window box with herbs and enjoy the scents as they waft in through an open window.
6. Add natural design elements. If you don’t have the luxury of beautiful outdoor views, you can add some of your favorite photographs or art work to make any room feel as though it has been touched by mother nature’s hand. You can also collect and display natural elements such as a bowl of beautiful rocks or shells or a vase of sand from your favorite beach. And of course, any natural feeling room should have lush living plants to clean the air.
7. Ready to splurge? In some climates, you can have retractable doors installed and simply push them back, opening an entire wall of your home out onto the yard or patio. In this case, using similar materials for indoor and outdoor furnishings as well as flooring would make the entire space feel like one big outdoor room.
Bringing the outdoors into your home can be as simple or as complicated as you want it to be. Let the process of this home improvement flow and follow your instincts whenever possible.